prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

The power of moving images

Posted by prof e on September 14, 2011

Did you happen to see the video of bystanders lifting a burning BMW off of an injured motorcyclist? If you didn’t, watch it on Youtube here. I love seeing how, in just a matter of seconds, people jump in to do the right thing despite potential danger to themselves. A joint effort by construction workers and university students (including a young woman) resulted in a life saved from what would most certainly have been a tragic death. Watch the young woman get down on her belly to look at the victim pinned under the car. It was her announcement that he was alive that spurred the second effort. Before that they just thought they were trying to free a dead body.

There another angle to this story. If someone hadn’t pointed his cell phone camera at the accident from a nearby office building, we probably wouldn’t be celebrating this wonderful act of heroism that restores our faith in humanity. Sure, it would have been written up in local papers, including eyewitness testimony about the unfolding events…but it wouldn’t have been seen and appreciated by the millions of people worldwide who have now seen the video. An ordinary citizen, in the right place at the right time with a cell phone video camera, captured a few seconds of footage that we’re all talking about today. This is citizen journalism and eyewitness reporting at its best.

Years ago a person pointed his video  camcorder at a police action on the side of a California highway. The beating of Rodney King was videotaped and shared across the nation and around the world. After LAPD officers on trial for police brutality were acquitted, riots broke out in LA resulting in “53 deaths, 2,383 injuries, more than 7,000 fires, damages to 3,100 businesses, and nearly $1 billion in financial losses” (Wikipedia).

Both are examples of the power of documentary evidence of an event that might otherwise have passed with little or no attention. One highlights positive actions and the other destructive actions…and both make important contributions to a just and free society.


46 Responses to “The power of moving images”

  1. K. Williams said

    The power of photojournalism never ceases to amaze me, be the viewer responses positive or negative. I am glad that photojournalism can record acts of humanity like this one on YouTube and inspire us to be better people and to keep believing in the world. These visual stories help to contrast the less ideal aspects of humanity that photojournalism also captures.

  2. Stacy Herron said

    Im so glad someone could get a video of this. Its just amazing that people would help out other people like that. They deserve to be recognized and this is a great way of doing it!

  3. Kendra Whittlef said

    WOW!! That is absolutely incredible. It is amazing for someone to capture this video to share with the rest of the world on how lucky this man is. The people who helped move that car are absolute heroes. My thought if it wasn’t for them, the man would not have survived! To see people help move that car for someone they don’t even know and more joining after seeing what is going on, that is awesome! They definitely deserve to be recognized for saving someones life.

  4. jrmcclain said

    This is an incredible few seconds of cell phone recording. I could not help but notice the difference in reactions to a crisis – for the most part everyone in the frame helped out and it was clear that they realized the situation they were in. But did anyone notice the suited man in the top left of the frame holding his briefcase? I see that he was not able to participate and at first I thought he was being ignorant or something, but after watching the scene a couple of times, I wonder if he was “frozen” from the crisis and was not able to help….maybe the accident brought back horrible memories for him or maybe he knew the person under that car, or maybe he did not think he could help any more than all the people already pushing on the car. Anyway, I am humbled by the generous actions of others, including the man with the briefcase – we do not know his situation and I should not have judged him as harshly as the first time I saw the clip.

  5. It is unfortunate how the most popular news stories are the negative ones. The video of the bystanders helping a crash victim, and other stories like it, deserve their place in the media. These type of stories promote positivity where as the common crime ridden, disease filled stories that are “top news” leave our society feeling paranoid and depressed.

  6. Mike Marino said

    Ok everyone is going to say this but what theses people did was heroic and was really brave. It is amazing how technology has changed the way we receive current events weather it is positive or negative. Because if you think about it back in the day if someone crashed or something tragic happened there was no way that it could have been broadcasted to the world or been on the media. But the person who captured this footage on there camera was at the right place at the right time and for the right reason. Now thinking on a broad scheme what if 10 years down the road if something like this happened again and all someone would have to do is to take a picture of an accident and the police and ambulance would respond to it, because the phone would contact them with all the information they needed. I know that it might seem far fetched but i am sure people 10 years ago didn’t think that we would ever have a cell phone that we could Skype on, text on, even email on. Think about it.

  7. Austin Morelli said

    What an incredable act of bravery. Usually we would see this in movies or tv shows but to actually see real people being heroic is amazing. It is pretty awesome how a dozen people went to the rescue of the man. I have witnessed some people just walk by somebody who needs help. Today it is really rare to see people to step up and not be concerned about themsevles and lend a helping hand. Again this is a great story and I hope for the best to the people who helped this man.

  8. Taelor Huddleston said

    This is an incredible story. It is very nice to see people taking matters into their own hands to save someones life. i feel like there is still hope for society after reading this article. it is very rare that someone will catch something like this on video. the people that helped save someones life should be very proud of themselves.

  9. M. Williamson said

    This video was shocking, but from what I read ended well. From just looking at the video the effort and care from those people was remarkable and the video quality from the phone was clear. It appeared that the motorcyclist was dead after pulling him out but he survived and because someone recorded it theres more than just a story to tell. I think the technological advancements allowing us to record from such small devices are great because something very important could happen at anytime and to just be able to pull out a little device and start recording could save someones life in testimony or prove someone wrong or right in certain cases. and also allow for different angles.

  10. Sharlee Lopez said

    That video was pretty dang cool. It’s good to see that there are still good people in the world. Were surrounded by negative things all the time, but seeing things like this is like a breath of fresh air. If I were in that situation, I would hope to have reacted the same as those people did. Everyone reacts to dangerous scenarios differently, and hopefully my adrenaline would kick in forget all about my well being and help someone out.

  11. Alvarez,T. said

    Seeing this video was remarkable. In the world there is constant negativity, fighitng one another and arguing over sometimes the smallest things. It was amazing that these people went into harms way on account of saving a complete strangers life when they could’ve lost their own if something else went wrong. I commend those men and women because in a situation such as that I’m not sure what i’d do at that moment in time. As for the bystander who caught this on video I thank them because we truly get to see that there still are good people out there although this was an unfortunate circumstance. I do hope that young man they helped save is alright.

  12. Ami Gast said

    Photojournalism is something I think that is often forgotten when thinking of media. But pictures are worth a thousand words and not just pictures but video journalism is even more important in our society. The great thing about photojournalism and video journalism is that just taking a picture or a video can make that person a journalist. Someone reporting the facts of an event that happened. It truly is amazing how far the world has come with technology that has changed the way we use media.

  13. i felt so much adrenaline watching this video! its awesome to see that when someone else is in need that we can come together and help them! its nice to see that there are willing to help others and not just think of themselves! but it has been proven in a study that when an emergency situation happens over half of the people that see it dont know what to do and will wait for others to act and initiate the action plan! it was reassuring to say the least to see a group of people come together in the blink of an eye to help that man!

  14. Carl said

    It’s amazing to watch the effect most media has on people, this video restored some of my faith in the good of people compared to the average alarmist newscast.

  15. Rob Lee said

    Its good to see a positive news story versus all the negative news that is reported on, and I agree without the use of cell phones such videos wouldn’t be possible and wouldn’t be able to celebrate the ordinary people who step up in the time of need to become a hero.

  16. Caleb Ballesteros said

    I think pictures and videos from a normal person on the street hits us more emotionally because it seems more real, and up close.

  17. Alexandra Richardson said

    Rightly so… without video footage thousands of crimes would go without any attention by the justice system, and numerous acts of heroism and entertainment would not be shared worldwide. In philosophy it is said knowledge is the power to communicate and videos are the most believable accounts of receiving information as the saying goes “seeing is believing”.

  18. Dakota Mason said

    All of the most moving events that happen today are the ones that have video or photographic evidence. Dont get me wrong, if people testify to an event happening, it will make the news but it will not be nearly as moving as it would be if it were to have video evidence. People get a completely different vibe from news if they are able to see what was happening during the action.

  19. Trevor Soole said

    It really is amazing to see what people will do in a given social situation. There are instances, such as this, where we have a certain pride for mankind in doing something this selfless. However, I’d like to bring up the story of Kitty Genovese where a young woman was repeatedly assaulted and eventually murdered outside an apartment building. Witnesses said that there were people watching outside the windows as this poor woman cried for help and no one helped her. Now, I realize that this has nothing to do with the idea of citizen journalism but it does point out the idea that different perspectives in a social situation are the result of how the media is portrayed to the audience.

  20. Marshall VanderPutten said

    I think its pretty amazing that so many people came to the rescue of someone they didnt know in the least. A lot of times now a days people are too concerned with what is going on in there life only, and dont often care or think about others. This is a great example of people stepping up to the occasion and doing the right thing. I’ve been guilty of accusing our society as a whole as being inconsiderate of other people, as for the majority I believe this is true. But this is a great example of how I’m not neccessarily correct and there are still people out there who truly do care. Not trying to sound as though women are’nt physically capable, but to see the women try to lift the car when there were men standing around at the beginning is pretty awesome. Just an overall great scene, and thankfully some one was conscience enough to capture this event. Just another example of the amazing things that hand held media can help all of society.

  21. Jason Cowan said

    First things first. Hell yes humanity! Seeing something like this… I am at a complete loss for words! It’s absolutely phenomenal! Secondly, it’s pretty mind blowing when you think about how far we have come in terms of photojournaling. Back during the Civil War when Mr. Brady had to haul a wagon with him, and developing the photos took much longer that it did to read and type this blog. Now, we can just aim our compact phone, and capture or record. It’s just crazy to think about how technology has advanced in our time as a nation! Who knows what is next!

  22. Ralph said

    I have never witnessed nor heard of something like this in my life, gave me the chills watching a group of strangers take action and not stand on the sidelines as this man was facing death. Just amazing how there are some good people still out there who arent selfish and only think for themselves. This could have ended in much more deaths if in fact the BMW would have blown up, but saving the mans life was more important then theirs. Incredible video Prof. E

  23. Justin Shalinsky said

    With new technology, it is easy to just pull your cell phone out and record something in this day in age. The fact that this video was made, doesn’t mean that this was the first time something heroic has taken place. However, I do believe that having something like this recorded makes people who watch it feel a lot better about the world we live in today in that, there are still many good people in the world who will risk their own lives to help another’s. It’s a good thing to see.

  24. Lee Meisner said

    The power of moving images is the perfect title for this video. One can read about something amazing or can see and hear if for themselves. Moving images have come a long way since the first picture was taken and to this day proves to be one of the best educational and inspirational tools of all time. Most of the time we focus on how technology has been used for leisure or an outlet but here we see the technology as a testament for what it really was created for, to record the past. This video is the perfect example of the amazing function of media today to educate and inform the masses. I think it is amazing of how the human spirit can not only perform such an act as saving that mans life, but also to use today’s technology to spread the word and inspire others.

  25. Justin Haddan said

    Yes it is amazing the things that people can accomplish when put in a life or death situation, or in a situatio were they can save anothers life. We are lucky that a person in an office building captured this image of this act. People would not have known what really happened in this story without this recording. The power of this video is great and inspirational. It is good to see that our society will still help another in need because the media often displayes the opposite of this. Tecnology has allowed us to capture this moment and people will be able to acces it when ever they want probably forever.

  26. Viola Vineyard said

    This video shows you that the entire world is not heartless and cold, that if you need help there are people that will lend you a hand. As for the person shooting the video I’m sure is glad they caught it on video so that it can be an inspiration to others to do good. Although a very inspirational video and a complete act of heroism, is it not frightening how if there wasn’t a video of this in the first place, not that many people would have known about it? That instead of having reporters from the news report such a heroic act, we had to let youtube make the video go viral? I love youtube, dont get me wrong but I think we rely on it too much.

  27. ashton5 said

    This picture is vivid and provides so much more information than the eye first catches. You don’t see strength in physical form only. You see mental strength and bravery.

    I love photojournalism. I have a cousin that studies this and one of her brain teasers she has had me start doing is writing a short story about what I see in a still image. To the touch, there is only 1 layer to a picture…but with another closer look, the depth can truly be seen.

  28. Andrew DeBerry said

    Its amazing that we live in a world full of hatred but still can put our diffrences aside and join hands for a cause bigger than ourselves. Its apart of human instinct to help those in need, even if you dont know who they are or like them. This image reminds me of september 11th when the people of America rose together as one and beat a common enemy. Another thing about the video that took me away is the power that media has on our society. When a person views this story we judge on what we feel, not what we know. Even though not necessarily true, whos to say that one of the people invovled in the wreck was a criminal trying to evade police? Though this seems to be a innocent, heart touching scene it proves the power that media can have on a society.

  29. Lyric Hassler said

    This is such an amazing story. To have this incident captured and shown to the world is just remarkable, it shows how incredible the world is and how we can better it even more with just a helping hand. But in this situation, it was more than just lending a hand, it was pure heroism.

  30. CJ gerber said

    YOU CANT ALWAYS BELIVE WHAT YOU SEE ON TV…but that’s just it. It the amazing power of the big screen and the moving picture. If it is yapping it must be real or doable. The people, objects, and items placed in front of a lens and recorded bewilders humanity…it can make us believe, make us change emotions, scare us, make us think a certain way about something or someone, and make us wish. It is incredible to me that we can experience what is happening as it happened in someone else’s eyes. ITS MAGIC.

  31. Joseph D. Devendorf said

    A picture is worth a thousand words and tells a story. All these words came from someone’s cell phone no less.

    The bravery of these people is truly astonishing! I saw the video, the car was on fire and these people didn’t wait for firemen, police men, an ambulance. No, they rushed to this person’s rescue, ignoring their own safety and tipped the vehicle and pulled the man from harm’s way.

    The power of documentation and the easily accessible technology that allows to do this. We thank you owner of the phone that photographed and recorded this touching action.

  32. Quayshaun Coleman said

    This really gave me hope for humanity. I really wonder how many people would actually do soemthing like this as oppossed to just waiting for someone else to come and help. This moment was unifying, inspirational, and heroic. The people involved should be rewarded.

  33. Kenneth Martinez said

    Its just crazy. Its all about being in the right place at the right time. People can do great things when they all rally together as they saved the man’s life. They can also do terrible things when rallied together as in the riots. I think the power of these photos is great. One picture can spark outrage or togetherness.

  34. Steven Medina said

    It was very powerful and moving to see these people come together and help save the man’s life. These people should be heroes for putting their lives on the line to rescue someone who is injured. With power and union of people, great things can happen, in ANY situation.

  35. Krystle Cano said

    I love photo journalism!! Nothing catches my attention more than an interesting picture. This photo taken by an everday citizen documenting other citizens coming together was very inspirational. People helping other strangers is just a beautiful thing. This mans life was saved by the heroic efforts of everday people, which is something we don’t see everyday.

  36. Photo journalism is more important than people give it credit for. By seeing the heroism tactics of those people, we could experience how it’s true people help other people. You hear all the time about people seeing someone who needs help and ignoring it. The person that filmed this video gave people like me the confidence that people will go out of the their way to help one another especially in times of danger or hardship.

  37. Jake Kurtz said

    The video is really quite powerful and inspiring. It’s things like this that gives you a little more hope for humanity. It is great to see that there are still good people out there willing to put there lives on the line to help out their fellow human beings. Unfortunately this is not always the case as there have been occasions where a person in need died simply because people wouldn’t help. People did however capture it on their hand held devices. It’s good that in this case the person recording was recording a life being saved. Hand held devices in tandem with the internet websites like Youtube or Twitter, events like these are constantly being uploaded in real-time. It has made these websites into more or less a main source of news for a lot of people around the world. Many professional journalists utilize these sites’ material for their stories or references, because it gives them access to a plethora of third-party primary sources. It really is a gold mine from a journalists point of view, assuming that they verify everything that is published, which every good journalist does anyway.

  38. Marki Cook said

    What an inspirational article. It’s absolutely incredible that a couple minutes of film can show events that can save and change the lives of many. Media presents the news in such a negative manner these days. With the media now, we forget that there are still good people out there who care and would risk their own lives to save one, rather than take one. These are the true heroes of today. The people who still have enough integrity to get involved and not just turn the other cheek, the people who put others before themselves, and the people who believe everyone should be allowed a second chance. Without these kinds of people in the world, the media would really demonstrate a clear perspective of what the world would be like, 100% negative.

  39. Deherrera Stephanie said

    It’s amazing to see what people will do in a given situation. Its good to see a positive news story versus all the negative news that is reported on, the use of cell phones and other technology is always good to have in any given situation for the fact of people being able to capture such incidents like this.They are right about how much a differnce it can make as to seeing a picture or a video as to just reading an article about it. You have more of a visual sense of what is going on then having to picture while reading it with out a picture or video.

  40. Lindsey Marmolejo said

    People like this are true heroes. To risk your own life for someone you don’t even know is a true act of heroism. This gives me hope that there are still people out there willing to do the right thing at the drop of a hat regardless of the situation. Especially for our younger generation, this is a breath of fresh air because usually all we ever hear is how irresponsible our generation is and how we have no respect for others. This proves that there are still some of us out there who take pride in who we are.

  41. Brandyn Moore said

    In this article and simple act of a cell phone use at the right place at the right time saved the life of an innocent citizen. It’s said that the cell phone was pointed at the accident from the nearest building. I feel that all of these people that helped are true heroes and it goes to show that all it takes is one person to make a change. the courage that these people displayed was truly enlightening when they proceeded to all help lift the car off of this sole survivor. it’s also amazing though that all this took was an n individual and the use of his or her cell phone. the fact that the author referenced it to Rodney King incident I thought that it was a good way to catch the reader’s attention and it raise more question on if this was a coincidence or if this all just happens naturally.

  42. Brandyn Baca said

    Take a picture it might last longer. just about everyone in the United States has a cell phone with picture taking capabilities. with in seconds we are able to pull something that fits in our pocket out of our pants and take a High quality photo or video.Like in the incident in this article, the device in your pocket can turn you into a journalist at any time. Just another way technology has moved us forward.It really is amazing that this moment in time will be forever captured. Just when you think the States are going down the drain we all get to see a great act of humanity. I really don’t believe this courageous act could be described how the picture and video can show you.Nothing is as visually as powerful as tactfully being able to see the moment.

  43. Aubree Jo Miller said

    This is a moment where we all sit and think about how much technology does for us every day. We most often think of all the bad things that comes from the advances in technology. It’s times like these when we are grateful that we have things like phones with cameras, because in this situation, that phone may have saved the day. And its not the first time that cell phones or other technologies have come to the rescue or helped someone in need. As much as we don’t want technology to overtake everything we do, we do have to realize how much it has advanced our medical feild and all other aspects of our life. In times like this, we are grateful for the technology we have today.

  44. Caitlin Norton said

    Today, people want to actually see something happened instead of only a picture. It makes the moments more powerful and has a stronger overall impact and meaning. This is an incredible story that deserves all the media attention it can get. It shows how selfless people can actually be. Media tends to show coverage of more negative stories, such as the beating of Rodney King. But even that story showed how our society wants justice and freedom for everyone. They probably should have done it in a less violent way though. Video journalism is huge and while a picture is worth a thousand words, a video completes the story. The cell phone video just shows you how our society does look for the good and how positive stories impact us just as much or even more than the negative ones do.

  45. Deann Pantoya said

    This is an amazing video, and to think all of this was captured one a silly old cell phone recorder. It’s nice to see a positive news story for once that’s being captured by someone. Instead of the silly old gossip and negative subjects that you see and hear about today. I believe all of these people are true heros. They all risks their own lives in the attempts to save same one else who they weren’t even sure was alive at first or if he was going to live. The true highlight of this clip was when everyone came together and all help to push the car up in order to free the injured victom from under the burning car.

  46. Kelsey Brown said

    First of all, great video, absolutely AMAZING! I makes me happy to know that there are people out there still willing to help people they don’t know out of a dangerous situation. My faith in humanity has been restored a little because of this video. These people are truly amazing.
    This story would definitely not have the same impact if it had not been caught on camera. Video recording is truly a blessing now a days. Its pure, untainted evidence of actual events. Last night I was watch a collection of videos on police brutality, hearing about police brutality is one thing but actually witnessing it is absolutely horrifying but little if anything is done about the police that use excessive force because its always claimed that they were doing their job. Video does not lie and its terrible that people still back up the police when its clear they were in the wrong.
    Video recording has become huge. Nowadays nothing goes unrecorded because of the convenience of having a phone on you. Video is the greatest, most impacting form of media we have in today’s world. With nothing going unrecorded, we are able to see event unfold in front of our eyes and truly know what happened during that particular event. I hope some day video recording will lead to changes for the greater good, specifically against police brutality. But again that was an amazing video and I’m glad someone captured it taking place.

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